ISO 14001 Certification
The ISO 14001 certifies adherence to strict environmental procedures and standards recognized worldwide. It also requires external audits and verification of our environmental claims. We have achieved ISO 14001 certification at Bandelier National Monument and White Sands National Monument. Additional certifications for Muir Woods National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns National Park are pending the completion of external audits in the Fall of 2010.
John M. McPhail, Jr. Green Business Award (Marin Conservation League)
Awarded to Muir Woods Trading Company in 2010. The John M. McPhail, Jr., Green Business Award is awarded to a Marin business that exemplifies environmental sensitivity in business, and that has supported and improved communication between the business and environmental communities.
Local and Healthy Foods
While all of our food operations are sustainable, Muir Woods National Monument is our flagship for sourcing food locally. We work with over 40 local farms and co-ops to provide healthy and sustainable fare. In the past year, 97% of our produce was USDA Organic certified and produced less than 40 miles from Muir Woods. Likewise, 80% of our proteins were USDA Organic and 88% were sourced from less than 40 miles.
Green Restaurant Certification
Our operations at Bandelier National Monument and Muir Woods National Monument have both achieved this certification from the Green Restaurant Association. As of March 2010, Muir Woods Trading Company was one of only 20 certified 3-Star restaurants in the world.
EPA Green Power Partnerships
After working to first reduce our electrical usage (Most recently Muir Woods usage was reduced 54% since we took over operations from the previous concessioner), we then purchase the remainder of our electrical usage from EPA approved renewable sources. Our park operations purchase the following renewable energy:
- Muir Woods Trading Company - 100%
- Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company - 100%
- White Sands Trading Company - 25%
- Bandelier Trading Company - 25%
Percent of Renewable Energy in 2010
ISO 9001 Certification
We achieved our first quality service certification for Carlsbad Caverns in Fall 2009, and we intend to replicate this certification in our other park locations to set a new standard. This certification is recognized worldwide as the standard for quality service programs.
Solid Waste Reduction
In 2009, we achieved the following landfill diversion rates from our park locations:
- Muir Woods Trading Company - 84%
- Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company - 54%
- White Sands Trading Company - 64.74%
- Bandelier Trading Company - 42.1%
Percent of Solid Waste Recycled / Composted in 2009
Local Eco-System Protection
Whether it's protecting the last remaining Redwood eco-systems in the San Francisco Bay area, preserving a one of a kind cave system, or implementing day-to-day monitoring to minimize our impact on wildlife, all of our operations are designed to address and protect local species. This protection includes:
- Removing "cooking smells" from parks by reducing baking and using sealed equipment that reduces smells. In some cases, such as Carlsbad Caverns and Muir Woods, we have purposefully reduced our footprints and profits in order to protect local species.
- Implementing lighting plans to prevent light pollution, which could affect wildlife.
- Implementing Soundscape protection by using low-noise equipment, turning all equipment off at night, and using decibel meters and constant monitoring to measure our noise impact.
- Instituting rigorous cleaning and maintenance procedures to mitigate wildlife impact. These systems are monitored daily and audited by external parties for effectiveness.
Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary
We have also achieved the first certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in the state of New Mexico. Most environmental programs and certifications don't focus on wildlife or ecosystems to the detriment of local species, but the Audubon program protects local animals, with an emphasis on avifauna (bird life). This certification generally takes 2-3 years to complete, and we are the first organization in New Mexico to have achieved it.
We believe that Culture is more important than Commerce. Operating only in culturally and historically significant areas, we enjoy protecting these treasures and bringing them to the public. The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation are followed in all of the historic buildings that we steward; we work every day to maintain and preserve these buildings and the sacred stories that they contain. The following is a list of the historic properties where we have instituted major restorations and protection plans:
Stow Lake Boathouse
Renovations in progress
We are excited to restore this important part of San Francisco history. We are sourcing regional labor, materials and environmental consultants. With the completion of this renovation, Golden Gate Park will gain a venue for respite, relaxation and community gatherings.
Muir Woods National Monument Civilian Conservation Corps Building
We partnered with the National Park Service on a full-scale interior remodel of the historic building. Through our own research, we discovered and reinstalled lost historic doorways, removed non-historic wall coverings and slatwall display units and opened up the historic building for greater aesthetic experience. We also sourced 80 year old redwood tables that we donated for a floor restoration, and we used 100+ year old barn redwood to build furniture, fixtures and wall coverings that are more consistent with the original Park style. Finally, we designed the cafe layout and procedures to reduce cooking and baking which could damage the historic building. We are currently undergoing the LEED EB certification process.
El Rancho Hotel
This "Hotel of the Movie Stars" was abandoned and destined for demolition when the Ortega family purchased it and undertook a historic restoration with a special emphasis on stabilization, restoring the building seal (roof etc.), and returning the dignity of the grand lobby and the historic woodwork (beams, vigas, pillars, stairways). Restoration included the sourcing of numerous "like" materials from the same sources or type used in the 1930's. Most restoration and construction work took place in stages, allowing visitor services to continue. Recipient of multiple historic awards and recognitions.
Historic rebuild 1976 (This building was rebuilt to match the original 1880’s structure)
Using archival material and working with historic architects, Mr. Ortega voluntarily replaced the modern building (which a fire destroyed) with a historic re-creation of the two storey building that was here circa 1880's. Balconies, doorways, windows, and all exterior finishing were rebuilt to their historic measurements and styles. Interiors were based on the likely historic footprint but were adapted for high visitation patterns and modern appliances (HVAC, Restaurant Equipment, etc.) In voluntarily choosing this historic style, Mr. Ortega brought a cornerstone of the Santa Fe Historic District to a permanently higher standard.
White Sands Civilian Conservation Corps Building
We were pleased to gift to the National Park Service a total restoration of the interior of the historic building. Completed in 2007, we removed the pegboard that covered most of the adobe walls and buttresses and restored them to their original state. The vigas and the slatted wood ceiling between were repainted to approximate the original shade. The acoustic tile ceiling in the non-historic addition was replaced with sheet rock and visible steel I- beams were faced with wood to be more in keeping with the historic vigas. The linoleum tile floor in the historic section was transformed by installing Saltillo tile according to the original specifications and finishing it to match the historic floor in the Visitor Center. The same Saltillo tile was carried into the newer addition. An original window in the historic room was revealed. New retail cases were custom made and installed making certain that nothing was attached to the newly restored walls. Finally, we established written and documented preservation procedures based on the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Preservation.
Simply Santa Fe
The foundation of this three level building was laid by Puebloan Indians and then built on using various types of construction throughout many years. There are numerous non-historic and non-documented additions which make preservation difficult.
Oldest House in the USA
The fragile nature of these historic buildings was compounded by previous occupants who installed non-historic equipment and additions that stressed the structures. Besides monitoring areas of stress (restaurant equipment areas, eating areas), special emphasis was on keeping all foot traffic away from walls and historic artifacts. This involved a large amount of educational material and verbal training of staff. Adobe and wood restoration was completed by sourcing only materials from the local area that would have been used in the 1600's. Materials that would alter the chemistry of the building (cleaning materials, etc.) were avoided except when required for human safety.
This building is no longer under the management of Ortega Family Enterprises.
Bandelier National Monument Civilian Conservation Corps Building
We removed slat panel displays that blocked historic features such as windows, fireplaces, and vigas and also worked with the National Park Service, State of New Mexico, and approved contractors to build ADA required changes from historic "like kind" tufa rock (we had to source a quarry for this material). We restored historically significant plants and gardens. Finally, in establishing written and documented preservation procedures based on the Secretary of Interior Standards for Preservation we created a record of all building features and problem areas (no documentation or plans were available when we took over operations).